- Fitness level
- Body type
- Muscle elasticity
- Previous injury
- Strength of opposing muscle
- Joint structure
Clive Woods, DO
Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
Location and Office HoursHoward J. Gelb, MD, PA
9980 Central Park Blvd N
Boca Raton, FL 33428
What is flexibility?
Flexibility is the ability of a joint to maneuver through a range of motion. Everyone has different levels of flexibility. Factors that may limit flexibility include:
How can tight chest and back muscles affect my arm movement?
Rick Olderman, Physical Therapy, answeredThe pectoralis major, one of the chest muscles, runs from the trunk to the arm bone and contributes to internal rotation of the arm and shoulder depression when the arm raises overhead. The latissimus dorsi, a back muscle that begins on the pelvis and lower and mid-back, connects to the bottom corner of the scapula before it inserts onto the front of the arm bone. The latissimus also contributes to inward rotation of the arm bone. Additionally, it pulls the arm back and depresses the scapula.
If the pectoralis and latissimus are tight or overly developed, they can alter how the arm bone and/or scapula rests and moves. Again, they tend to dominate arm movements because of how we typically work with our arms and the muscles' sheer size. This makes it difficult for the rotator cuff muscles to guide the head of the humerus in the shoulder socket. When this happens, the rotator cuff internal rotators also become tight, reinforcing this problem. This is often the case in weight lifters whose training emphasizes bigger or stronger chest and back muscles while excluding scapular and rotator-cuff muscles.
Find out more about this book:Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.
How is the back anatomically structured?
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
Your back is made up of an intricate system of bones, nerves, and tissues. The three main ones you want to learn about are the vertebrae and discs, the muscles and the nerves and myelin. All three areas can be sources of pain.
Your spine is comprised of small-stacked bones (the vertebrae) that form a column separated by discs. Think of your spine as a column of doughnuts separated by a nice wedge of havarti cheese: The vertebrae are the doughnut portion and inside the hole travels the spine; the harvarti is the disc. If the havarti is pushed out of place, you have a bulging disc.
Surrounding your spine, there's a large and complex set of muscles that have the job of an anatomical administrative assistant; they're all about providing support. These muscles are broken into three broad categories: Extensors, which are attached to the back of the spine and give you the strength to stand; flexors, which are in the front of the spine and help you bend forward; and obliques, which are attached to the sides and help you win twist contests. Also important in this complex are the abdominal muscles - actually the most important front muscles of the lower back.
Find out more about this book:You: Being Beautiful - The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty
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